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The art of love: a review



“Poetry is more than just a way of expressing myself or playing with words, it is a way I get to empower or comfort people that are going through challenges that I managed to overcome or still facing”, says Mophethe David Mojau who is 22. At age three the young poet was diagnosed with epilepsy — a nerve cell activity disorder that causes seizures. At the age five he was suspected to have autism because that is only when he started talking.

But none of these conditions stopped him from thriving in what he really wanted to do.

Growing up he aspired to be a rapper but later, because of lack of access to proper recording facilities, he gave up the dream and moved to writing.

In 2017 he focused on his ability to write and would compose short verses which he shared on social media, the feedback was amazing and it motivated him to write more. Mojau who draws his inspiration from Rupi Kaur, William Shakespeare, Paulo Coehlo and Mark Manson says his first poem was inspired by young love.

In this poem that he wrote in March 1, 2018 he poured out his heart to a girl but it hanged around between just the two of them. To most men, pouring out emotions is a sign of weakness but to him this is amid his greatest strengths. It is through his emotions that he can write poetry.

Towards the end of 2018 he found himself in a dark place battling depression and anxiety to a point where he was suicidal and this inspired his second poem titled “Voices in my head” which was also never printed. Studies show that “About 8% of teens ages 13 to 18 have an anxiety disorder, with symptoms starting around age 6”.

The causes range from peer pressure, the fear of missing out (drug and alcohol use), parental disapproval, issues that negatively impact self-esteem etc. What triggered this young poet’s anxiety runs somewhere along the lines of family issues, loss of a loved one and peer related issues but the outcome was beneficial for him and poetry partisans — The Art of Love: The Anthology

The Art of Love: The Anthology is a collection of poems by Mophethe David Mojau and Acid D (an anonymous South African author who addresses issues that are often overlooked) and it revolves around issues of mental health. It is based on an upcoming novel; The Art of Love (also based on mental health and teenage love) and is set to promote it.

The anthology was launched on October 29 which was the Mental Health Awareness month. The idea was not only to celebrate mental health but to also give young artistes a platform to showcase their talents.

The book is divided into six chapters and each chapter is a whole new world that the authors give you a tour around. The first chapter is based mostly on autism, epilepsy and losing oneself to depression.

It arouses your emotions and empathy as the author lays himself down and cuts himself open to give you a clear picture of his life as an autistic and epileptic child, a glimpse of what it is like to live with a certain condition.

Perhaps fate favoured him when “I was hard to comprehend, I had difficulties in speaking, But I could sing” because singing and poetry are allies and to recite a poem is like singing out song lyrics without a tune.

“I wasn’t always poetic, language wasn’t my strength. Instead, I was great at Mathematics. The tables began to turn, in terms of speaking poetry, I became fluent.”

The last three poems of this chapter are written in verse form, very short and easy to comprehend. They provide hope to those who are going through difficult times and encourage them to hold on to life.

Chapter 2 is more fixated on love and the beauty of it but this beautiful world collapses in chapter three when Nicola breaks up with Daniel (a character who is made up of the two authors’ character traits).

This is a book, in the midst of your problems, that will encourage you to hold on to life. Chapter six which is a bonus is intended to help people bounce back from overwhelming life situations such as grief, police brutality which is notorious in Lesotho and has resulted in many deaths, rejection, bullying which is overlooked and other depressing situations.

The book was rejected a couple of times but Mojau did not give up publishing his work. He came up with ideas to raise funds that would later result in a well-designed book that was finally printed out.

“Rejection does lead one to a better destination”, says the young poet who says he wishes to pursue his dreams by enrolling in film studies and already has a perfect idea for his first movie.

“I may have depression and anxiety and epilepsy but these conditions do not have me. It is a blessing to have problems. It is through challenges that we find growth but it is a curse that you have laid upon yourself if you allow your problems to have you.”

Bokang Masasa

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